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Mercy Housing and Shelter Corporation programs.

Providing a place to stay and access to case management is a focus of Mercy Housing and Shelter Corporation, or MHSC. The non-profit operates across the greater Hartford region and is committed to helping the homeless and evicted. They also have some programs that focus on veterans, the disabled, single parents, and children in the county.

A day shelter is located at St. Elizabeth House at 118 Main Street in Hartford. The formal name of the site is known as Friendship Center, and it provides critical community resources to thousands of homeless or at-risk men, single moms, women, and families each year.

Not only does in offer lodging, but it serves thousands of free meals to clients and families. Using donations of money raised from the community, they pass out groceries from the emergency food pantry. Mercy Housing and Shelter Corporation will also host an on-site clinic in partnership with doctors and hospitals.

The center also has free clothing, gives the homeless showers, has diapers for babies, and personal care items. In addition to these services, they provide children with free school uniforms and backpacks full of supplies and note books. There are also Christmas gifts, toys, meals and presents that are donated by volunteer groups at the annual holiday party.

The Friendship Center's Family Services Department offers case management services to assist families with finding emergency rental or deposit help as well as locating safe, permanent housing in Hartford. While more limited, there may be support to help people from the community with remaining in their own homes. The case manager also assists them in completing the paperwork required to allow them access to other support services, such as government benefits.

The St. Elizabeth House Transitional Living Program, provides single rooms and free meals every day to homeless adults for up to two years each. So this is a longer term service. This time period gives the residents the opportunity to identify, face, and work through the complex issues that caused their homelessness, whether that is lack of employment, poor credit, or some other issue.




Case managers from MHSC work closely with each individual to set and meet goals, as they work on achieving a state of independence self-sufficiency. Also at St. Elizabeth House, the non-profit operates the Jump Start to Jobs Program, which has an employment counselor on-staff to provide assistance for a job hunt. Staff assist with completing job applications, conducting online job searches, enhancing interviewing and computer skills. The program has a full computer lab to facilitate the process, with the goal of finding permanent employment and an income. This will then ideally lead to permanent housing in the Hartford or Connecticut community.

Catherine's Place in Hartford is a residential living program. It is a small facility that is based downtown. Catherine's Place provides up to one year of transitional housing to single, homeless women. Daily meetings with case managers serve to guide clients in gaining personal and vocational skills necessary that can lead to stable employment and permanent housing.

The MHSC Women’s Program provides 90 days of housing and supportive services for women, regardless of their age or race, in recovery. This program works to support them in their transition from treatment into the community, or into another level of care in their treatment program.

Residents that have been struggling over the long term can get help too. The goal of Mercy Supportive Housing Services is to assist chronically homeless, people facing poverty, and low-income individuals with serious and persistent conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, mental illness, or co-occurring disabilities with maintaining permanent housing.

This is accomplished through the provision of a rental subsidy. So this grant can be used for paying housing costs, and it is also combined with supportive services, including life-skills education, case management, and help with goal setting. To learn more about Supportive Housing, call 860-808-2050.





Mercy House is a permanent residential living program with the capacity for housing adults with medical or even mental health issues who are working their way toward the goal of becoming independent. Each resident is provided with intensive case management, a private room, clothing and/or meals and support round-the-clock basis.

The disabled in Hartford can get access to housing too. MHSC also operates an short-term emergency program for individuals with one or more specific co-occurring disabilities, whether it is physical or mental. The Residence at St. Mary’s Home in West Hartford is a supportive housing program that provides apartments for homeless adults who have disabilities. Available services include access to medical care, twenty-four hour staff support, meals, medication management and case management services.

While the main objective if Mercy Housing and Shelter Corporation is to help the homeless, they do have some pro-active services too for those facing eviction. More information on all of their resources can be found at 211 Wethersfield Ave., Hartford, CT 06114, dial 860-808-2040



By Jon McNamara











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